Sunday, February 1, 2015

It's Not About Football

When our four daughters were growing up, football was somewhere far in the background, occupying barely a blip on their radar.  They attended the Friday night high school football games, but then again, that was usually more about other dimensions than what was happening on the field.

When they were in college, I can remember asking what they were doing about the great American "holiday" called the Super Bowl.

"Nothing," one of them replied.  "I was invited to a Super Bowl party, but Mom, I don't even like football. I'm not going.  I have plenty of other things to do."

"The Super Bowl is not about football," I replied.  "It's about relationships."

Over the years, I have repeated that same phrase on more than one occasion, beyond the Super Bowl, not even just to our girls, but sometimes to my introverted self when I am reluctant to pursue uncomfortable social endeavors.

"It's not about football," I remind myself.    
"It's about relationships."
And even more,
it is about my relationship with God.

I had coffee this week with a young sweet friend whom I have not seen in five years.  She poured out her heart about where she works among despairing people who wear air-brushed all-encompassing masks.   "What am I doing there?" she asked.

In his profound book In The Name of Jesus, Henri Nouwen dares the believer to:

"...claim his irrelevance in the contemporary world as a divine vocation that allows him or her to enter into deep solidarity with the anguish underlying all the glitter of success and to bring the light of Jesus there."

It's not about the job, it is certainly not about making a name for oneself or doing what the world considers significant. It's about bringing the light of Jesus there.

It's not about football.
It's about relationships,
yet another opportunity
          to love others.

It's not about trays full of
buffalo hot wings,
but bringing with you
platters brimming with healing
and grace.

It's about bringing the light
of Jesus there.

Love them well, so radically that others can't help but ask why.

We love
    because He first loved us.
                  1 John 4.19

Be not distracted by the football,
the job,
the environment,
or the significance.
God has placed you strategically
for His purposes,
wherever that may be.

Bring the light of Jesus there.

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